Background

In 1974 Shellharbour City Council was one of the first councils in New South Wales to introduce public participation at its council meetings. Shellharbour Council’s decision to open public participation at Council meetings highlights the value in Community partnership. Shellharbour Council is committed to building partnerships with a range of stakeholders, and is seeking greater engagement with the community. Undertaking transparent and genuine engagement aims to help build a stronger community.

Objectives

To trial public place recycling bin systems in Shellharbour to determine community waste disposal behaviour and encourage recycling in public places. Using innovative technology, reduce waste sent to landfill, encouraging best waste management practices among community members and increase awareness and knowledge of waste disposal methods.

Strategy

Shellharbour City Council in conjunction with Stockland Shopping Centres decided to use an Envirobank Reverse Vending Machine (RVM) with prime placement in the centre’s food court and offer a range of rewards for the community. Unlike a traditional vending machine where the customer inserts payment for an item that is then dispensed, an Envirobank RVM allows people to insert their empty cans or drink bottles and redeem rewards. 100% of the crushed containers are then recycled

Solution

Shellharbour City Council and Stockland decided an RVM was exactly what they needed – it would increase recycling in the shopping centre, there would be a reduction of litter and it would educate the community at the same time. There was even an opportunity for the retailers to showcase their offers in the interactive LED touchscreen.